Pain management for burns can be difficult, because burns differ in type and severity. There are three types of burns:
- First-degree burns are considered mild compared to other burns.They result in pain and reddening of the epidermis (outer layer of the skin).
- Second-degree burns (partial thickness burns) affect the epidermis and the dermis (lower layer of skin). They cause pain, redness,swelling, and blistering.
- Third-degree burns (full thickness burns) go through the dermis and affect deeper tissues. They result in white or blackened, charred skin that may be numb.
What Causes Burns?
Dry heat (such as fire), wet heat (such as steam or hot liquids),radiation, friction, heated objects, the sun, electricity, or chemicals can all cause burns. Thermal burns are the most common kind of burns.These burns occur when flames, hot metals, scalding liquids, or steam come in contact with skin as a result of many different circumstances,including house fires, vehicle accidents, kitchen accidents, and electrical malfunctions.
What Are the Symptoms of Burns?
The symptoms of burns depend on the cause and type of burn. They can include:
- Pain (The degree of pain is not related to the severity of the burn, as the most serious burns can be painless.)
- Peeling skin
- Red skin
- Shock (Symptoms of shock may include pale and clammy skin,weakness, bluish lips and fingernails, and a drop in alertness.)